Category: Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, Diversity & Inclusion, Social Mobility, Independent Office for Police Conduct, Diversity and inclusion networks, law, Law Enforcement
At the IOPC we have recently been making a real push to become as diverse as the communities that we serve. Part of this approach has meant that we have looked at the ways in which we have traditionally recruited staff and looked to see what we can change to be more inclusive of people from different socio-economic backgrounds.
In the early years of our organisation, many of our recruits were graduates and former police officers. There was real value to that at the time, as those groups bring skills and experience that are of great benefit to our work. However, it is no surprise that over time, our overall workforce looks very similar in some areas.
However, as we’ve grown in size and developed our culture, values and aspirations, we have recognised the great value of a diverse workforce and looked to challenge ourselves in the way that we recruit. A priority for us now is to open our doors to those from different social groups, who may not have had the same backgrounds and life experiences as our current staff. We appreciate that education and qualifications are not the only measure of a person’s capability, and that we can support our communities far better by diversifying the skills and abilities that our staff can offer. This may be in the area of cultural awareness, innovative practices, language skills and diverse ways of thinking.
“A socio-economically diverse IOPC helps us to have an understanding of the diverse groups that we engage with every day. It puts us in a better position to support the public in a sensitive and appropriate manner, at what can be a difficult time.”
- Holly Tunley - Head of Organisational Design, Development & Talent IOPC
Some of the ways in which we are opening our doors are through the use of new recruitment practices to the IOPC. A couple of our larger initiatives are below:
We are promoting social mobility through using apprenticeships and ensuring we pay them fairly.
We have abolished our apprentice grade and all apprentices now receive 75% of the pay of any equivalent full-time post for that particular role.
This has made apprenticeships more feasible for everyone because they pay a living wage
They also provide all successful applicants the opportunity to access adult education for free.
We will make it feasible for those who can’t afford to take unpaid internships by offering paid, four-week summer internships.
In addition, travel costs will be covered for the duration of the internships supporting those who would be challenged by the cost of travel.
We will be doing engagement work with community groups and education institutions to raise awareness of our internships.
We will be encouraging applications from groups that are currently under-represented in our organisation, such as care-leavers.
Our internships will provide experience and insight to people looking to get involved in public-sector work.
At the IOPC, we realise it is vital that we embrace diversity and that we offer equality of opportunity. By changing our practices to recognise the value of social mobility, we hope to soon have a workforce as diverse as the communities that we live and work in.
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